Profile formation of academic self-concept in elementary school students in grades 1 to 4Report as inadecuate

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Academic self-concept ASC is comprised of individual perceptions of one’s own academic ability. In a cross-sectional quasi-representative sample of 3,779 German elementary school children in grades 1 to 4, we investigated a the structure of ASC, b ASC profile formation, an aspect of differentiation that is reflected in lower correlations between domain-specific ASCs with increasing grade level, c the impact of internal dimensional comparisons of one’s own ability in different school subjects for profile formation of ASC, and d the role played by differences in school grades between subjects for these dimensional comparisons. The nested Marsh-Shavelson model, with general ASC at the apex and math, writing, and reading ASC as specific factors nested under general ASC fitted the data at all grade levels. A first-order factor model with math, writing, reading, and general ASCs as correlated factors provided a good fit, too. ASC profile formation became apparent during the first two to three years of school. Dimensional comparisons across subjects contributed to ASC profile formation. School grades enhanced these comparisons, especially when achievement profiles were uneven. In part, findings depended on the assumed structural model of ASCs. Implications for further research are discussed with special regard to factors influencing and moderating dimensional comparisons.

Author: Isabelle Schmidt , Martin Brunner, Lena Keller, Vsevolod Scherrer, Rachel Wollschläger, Tanja Gabriele Baudson, Franzis Preckel



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